The Customs Conundrum’ and Tax Devolution | KPMG | UK
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‘The Customs Conundrum’ and Tax Devolution – our latest Brexit insights

‘The Customs Conundrum’ and Tax Devolution

A brief recap of the week’s announcements and news on Brexit, as well as our response to the evolving narrative.


Partner and Brexit Tax & Location Lead

KPMG in the UK


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This week has seen a flurry of announcements and news items relating to Brexit, and whilst there has been very little that has been surprising or unexpected to business, it is nonetheless helping us to understand the direction that Brexit negotiations will take. In this article we will briefly recap on the week’s events, and then move on to highlight three of our commentaries on the evolving Brexit narrative.

Firstly, a very brief recap of this week’s wider political events.  Monday saw the launch of the Prime Minister’s new ‘Industrial Strategy’ which sets out proposals for encouraging investment and growth across a variety of sectors. On Tuesday we had the Supreme Court ruling on Brexit, which provided us with the widely anticipated news that Theresa May will be required to seek the approval of Parliament before initiating the formal process of leaving the EU. And related to this, on Wednesday she confirmed that the Government will be publishing a Brexit White paper. 

At the time of writing, we anticipate the publication of this White Paper soon to initiate the Brexit debate, and on the International stage, announcements relating to the Prime Minister’s first meeting with President Trump. It seems quite likely that these announcements will cover future trading relations between the US and UK which we would expect to be influential in the broader Brexit discussions.

Rather than provide further narrative on these specific items (which we appreciate have been extensively covered in the mainstream media), this week we would like to highlight three topical KPMG commentaries on Brexit which we consider will be of interest as we all grapple with understanding the complexities of the Brexit negotiations:

  • Firstly, picking up on May’s opening position on negotiations for post-Brexit trading arrangements, Bob Jones sets out the challenges we are likely to face when it comes to UK/EU trading relations, and how these may be navigated. This article starts with an outline of why the customs union is so important and goes on to focus on the practicalities for any business with cross-border trade.
  • Secondly, in response to Monday’s announcements on the new Industrial Strategy, Tim Sarson, considers the role that tax devolution could play in the strategy, in particular in promoting places as well as sectors.
  • Finally, many of you may already be familiar with our weekly Brexit Column, authored by Mark Essex and guest contributors. Each week this considers a topical business concern relating to Brexit, frequently touching on tax, trade and immigration. 


For further information please contact :

Tim Sarson

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